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Old 03-08-2012, 05:28 PM
 
29 posts, read 47,961 times
Reputation: 17

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Hi all, I am a 21 year old guy looking for the ideal place in Colorado to live. I currently live in a city in upstate NY rated as most depressing, and recently recognized for having the most obese population (Saw Boulder was at top skinniest), and need to leave this state asap. I plan on moving to CO in early summer after I receive my associates degree in liberal arts. I have around 20K saved up. I am mostly interested in CO for the recreation aspect. I am looking into Denver and Boulder as of now. I have never been out west, so I am considering on moving without visiting first. I've been thinking of living in my car/tenting until I find a nice place to live(I hope to find a house-share with other young people).
I want to live in a city with a good nightlife but at the same time can venture off to the mountains. I am looking for:

- Recreational opportunities
- Bike friendly (where people wont get upset for a bicyclist riding in front of them)
- Liberal (gay friendly)
- Nightlife
- A decent job market
- Large population of young people

I also am curious about the cost of living in Colorado; Rent, food, car registration, gas prices, taxes, and so on. I am also weary of moving without knowing people...friendly open people in CO? I wont be attending college right off the bat, so I'm a bit nervous of how I'll make friends. I probably left out other curiosities but this is a start. I appreciate any suggestions, thanks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:27 PM
 
19,555 posts, read 35,635,032 times
Reputation: 16633
Denver....has the best / most of what you seek. Boulder is in second place if you can find work there and afford its prices.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,030,815 times
Reputation: 616
Fort Collins wouldn't be a bad choice either, although jobs are tougher to come by there. It would provide the best opportunity of the 3 to camp in the National Forest during the night then come down into town during the day.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 585,616 times
Reputation: 434
friendlyfire2012,

Boulder can be a very expensive place for housing, but there are usually loads of house-sharing possibilities. Many U of Colorado (CU) students leave for summer, and roommates are looking to fill empty bedrooms until Fall. You might want to start checking craigslist early. Depending on your tastes, you could get into a house/apt for anything from $400 (or even less) to $800/month (or even more). Tenting or sleeping in your car could be challenging in/close to Boulder; they can be a bit strict about such things.

And, if you are indeed friendly and somewhat outgoing, there will be endless opportunities to meet people outdoors hiking, walking, cycling, climbing, hanging out at the Farmers Market, listening to music, dancing, swimming, playing frisbee at a park, checking out the Pearl Street Mall, etc. And eating! People in Boulder are always eating outdoors in the gorgeous weather.

You can always strike up a conversation. Of course, chances are good that you'll end up speaking to a tourist who knows less about the area than you do! It won't take long, though, to be able to spot the locals in their sandals, spandex bike wear, yoga shorts, etc. lol. There are a number of subcultures in Boulder, so it shouldn't be too hard to find your tribe, whatever flavor that might be. That said, people are people everywhere, and you're bound to bump up against some walls.

Sounds like you're coming with a savings account that many could only dream of, so at least you won't be panhandling for food. Colorado is hardly immune to greater economic woes, but there are also summer jobs that become available (tons of restaurants with a lot of turnover as people realize they'd rather be outdoors recreating!), but regardless of the economy, there always seem to be openings for people who are go-getters, not overly choosy, and have a good attitude about work.

I headed to Colorado from the East Coast when I was just a few years older than you, and never ever had any regrets. You're young, you've got some cash, and you sound ready for a change. Summer is a great time in Colorado, so go for it! Whether you end up in Denver, Bldr, FOCO, wherever, you'll probably end up having the time of your life.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:35 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,030,815 times
Reputation: 616
as for cost of living. It depends where you live in CO, but on average most places aren't out of the norm for the US (except maybe Boulder).
Most places you're going to want to live will be a little more expensive than upstate NY (I went to college in Rochester). Boulder especially will have expensive housing, as others have said already. Food is pretty average, gas is average to a little lower, car reg. is above average. Taxes I found to be pretty fair.

Overall I would rank the Cost of living in CO

Pueblo<Co. Springs<Denver<Fort Collins<Boulder<Durango

Of course Denver is a little more variant, being a bigger city, so it could be all over the map cost-wise depending on where you live.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:14 AM
 
8,318 posts, read 23,948,118 times
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Without a job in hand, it is a fool's move. I've run into more than just a few young waifs like you, broke and homeless in downtown Denver, lacking even the money to get back to wherever they came from. Colorado is not now, and never really was, a job-filled utopia for dreamers. The job market is highly competitive, with far more "dreamers" clamoring for work than there are jobs available. That situation, in my opinion, is going to get much worse before it gets significantly better. For most young people, Colorado is a relatively lousy place to start a career. That is why many home-grown Colorado college graduates wind up going somewhere else to find a job. They will sometimes return to Colorado later in life--some not until retirement--but they find it much easier to make a living somewhere else until they are older and more experienced in the workplace. Colorado's metro areas may be a cheaper place to live than many locales on the coasts, but there are many cheaper places to live with better career prospects than Colorado can offer.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:00 PM
 
29 posts, read 47,961 times
Reputation: 17
Appreciate the advice guys!

Hm, yeah I've seen in a few posts that Boulder is expensive..I am narrowing it down to Denver...perhaps move to Boulder when I continue my education in a year or two.
Bovinedivine- Thanks for the intake! I have been browsing craigslist though I thought it would be too early to start the process..though you make a good point about grabbing a place while reasonable. I will be on alert if I camp lol, I was thinking I could camp-out at a national park not to far from the city or something. Also I was thinking whether I should pack my nomad mountain bike for the move(take away significant sleeping space but its a sick bike)..was curious if Denver is bike orientated or not(destined path lanes for bicyclist?). I would love to be able to use my bike as my main means of transportation.

I cant wait to enjoy the outdoors when I get out there, makes me feel better about enjoying it with others! I agree with your attitude outlook on finding a job, as long as I hold those values I'll be set.
I looked at the jobs page on craigslist and it blows away the employment offerings where I currently live. I'm not looking to start a career in CO by no means(hey who knows), and I'm thinking of searching for an internship out there...I would love to find a position in the parks service or something related...then I can get my foot in the door n so on. No doubt I could find jobs in the food industry with my past work experience.

I'm thinking for the first month, I'll get settled in and explore the state, along with applying for jobs...but thats good to see Denver is in the middle for cost of living... Is Boulder mainly expensive in terms of housing? ... I have saved up 20K since I began working which is just waiting to be spent, in case I need to get back to where I came from(Jazzlover)... Thats great to hear sucess stories on moving from the east coast, I cant wait to make the move.. I want to fast forward to summer! I was thinking of flying out to Denver during my spring break to check it out, but round-trip is around $500 bucks! So I'm thinking of moving without visiting...but from the research I have done on CO, I dont think I'll be disappointed...and if I am I can always move again! I realize there are a few other generic threads relevant to my quest, but I really do much appreciate the help and suggestions offered for my unique situation, thank you!
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:25 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,030,815 times
Reputation: 616
with $20k in pocket I really don't think you'll have much to worry about, that should give you a good cushion of at least a year to figure stuff out and get a job. I moved to Seattle when I was 22 and only knew one friend and kind of had a "promise" of a job. It worked out pretty well (I later spent 5 years in CO), and I think sometimes the older crowd on these boards forget what it's like to be young, optimistic, and not tied down. If you've been able to save that kind of money you obviously have a decent work ethic and head on your shoulders.

DEFINITELY bring the bike. The mountain biking in CO is amazing (though Denver does require a little bit of driving, more so than the other cities, just due to size). Denver is pretty bike friendly, not as much so as Boulder and FoCo, but again for its size it's decent.

I'm positive you will be pleasantly surprised with the winters on the front range compared to upstate.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
151 posts, read 261,689 times
Reputation: 104
Friendly---I came here from WNY as well... (Buffalo Region)

I would advise visiting first. I have met a few people here from WNY... Some love it, some hate it. I visited three times and thought I loved it but after living here for a year I can safely say that I will not settle down here and I am considering going back to Upstate. I truely miss the amazing lakes and the sports passion. I am not tooo big on the mountains (they are fun when I manage to get to them but its very rarely I can make that trip).

Also, do you have any family remotely close to the Denver area? I made the assumption I would not miss my family that much but man, Ill tell ya, there are weekends I wish I could just drive home and see my family... Can't do that here... I have to plan like 2-3 months before hand if I want to see my fam so I can get somewhat of a cheap flight ticket.

Any friends out here as well? I was able to make friends in a heartbeat back in Buffalo (wear the Vanek jersey out after a Sabres game and I would be sitting with a group of 10 people and enjoying the night).. Out here it seems people are very weary to open up to you. Ive made 6 friends since moving here (and 1 moved back to Upstate a couple months ago).

I will go out and say this... I moved out here for 2 reasons... #1. My fiance left me and #2. I wanted to get my career on track.... I was able to get hired within 3 days of moving out here and as of now, I have a full time position at a County job with an ok salary (If I got offered something with the same rate of pay or higher I would take it).

If you do come out here let me know. I am going to stay here til at least September before I potentially call it quits out here.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
151 posts, read 261,689 times
Reputation: 104
And to answer some of your other questions:

- Recreational opportunities
Yea, tons of that... Mountains, Parks, Tons of Bike Trails, etc

-Bike friendly (where people wont get upset for a bicyclist riding in front of them)
Everyone and their mother has a bike here, and come summer time everyone, their mother, and their grandmother will have a bike out... What bothers me the most are cyclist who ride in the middle of the road to impede traffic... It really bothers me when there are sidewalks right there... Also, cyclist just blow through stop signs and stop lights so make sure your brakes are checked and you are willing to listen to them yell at you on how they have the right of way.. Some of them are brain dead morons.

- Liberal (gay friendly)
Cap Hill is gay friendly... Im straight so I dont know... I just know there are a bunch of gay bars up in Cap Hill and everyone seems to treat eachother fairly.

- Nightlife
Honestly, I think the Nightlife sucks here. I would much rather spend an evening out on the town in Buffalo compared to Denver... Ive been to bars where bartenders are just like "I dont want to be here, we are closing at midnight"... Where Buffalo you can drink til 4am at a bar if its just you and your 2 friends. I think Denver, compared to any other major US city, is pretty low on the scale for nightlife.

- A decent job market
Like I previously stated, I was hired within 3 days of moving here and I just got hired into a job with the county a month ago.. Ive held 4 jobs since moving here just to (2 restaurant, 1 LE contract position and 1 LE full time position). I seemed to have had good luck finding work here compared to Upstate.
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